Statement of the Holy See at the High-Level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals - 21 April 2016

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Statement [ .PDF] of the HOLY SEE by HIS EMINENCE CARD. PETER K.A. TURKSON, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,

High-Level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

New York, 21 April 2016

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I bring you the warm greetings of Pope Francis, and his prayerful wishes for a successful discussion on the means for achieving the SDGs.

When Pope Francis addressed this Assembly on September 25 last, he referred to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as “an important sign of hope”. This hope, he went on, will come to concrete fruition only if the Agenda is truly, fairly and effectively realized, and even more importantly, if its framework is sustainable. Thus its realization calls for all stakeholders to exercise an effective, practical and constant will.

The Holy See believes that the realization of the 2030 Agenda requires more than public financing; it also requires financing and investment in accordance with value-based criteria of private investors, as a necessary complement to public finance. Indeed, it is necessary that Non-State Actors, such as faith-based groups, lead multi-stakeholder engagements in ethical financial activity to eliminate social inequality and to develop an ambitious new agenda to better “care for our common home”.

In his Encyclical “Laudato Si’”, Pope Francis talks about “care” and “caring”. For, if one cares, one is connected, one is involved and touched. To care is to allow oneself to be affected by another, so much that one’s path and priorities change. With caring, then, the hard line between self and other softens, blurs, even disappears. So when we cast aside anything precious in the world, we destroy part of ourselves too, because we are completely connected.

To realize the 2030 Development Agenda, we are called “to care”, even when dealing with finance. Ethically irresponsible financial activity produces social inequalities. By caring, we are inspired to practice responsible finance and promote value-based investing in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Finally, Mr. President, as Pope Paul VI affirmed in 1967 in his Encyclical “Populorum Progressio,” development is the new name of peace. Peace is the necessary condition and environment for any true and lasting development. Accordingly, our conflict-ridden world is probably the greatest challenge to the realization of the 2030 Agenda. Peaceful and caring societies are more fundamental than the availability of financing and funding. For war is the negation of all rights and all development. Thus good governance and all the political instruments for the maintenance of peace and security for all are indispensable for the successful realization of the 2030 Agenda.